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2018 PMSE Fellows Announced

The American Chemical Society Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) has selected a new class of PMSE Fellows for 2018.  The following distinguished PMSE members have been chosen:

Brian Benicewicz, Jay Dias, Christopher Stafford, Shu Yang

They will be inducted as the eighteenth class of PMSE Fellows at the New Orlean ACS Meeting during the joint PMSE/POLY Awards Reception on Wednesday evening, March 21, 2018. PMSE is pleased to welcome this distinguished group of polymer scientists and engineers to the ranks of fellows.  Here is a short description of each of their careers and accomplishments:

Brian Benicewicz – University of South Carolina

“For the development of high temperature, proton conducting membranes for fuel cells and related devices”

Brian C. Benicewicz is the Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor and SmartState Chair in Polymer Nanocomposite Research at the University of South Carolina. He received his Ph.D. in polymer chemistry in 1980 from the Department of Chemistry and Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT working with Professor Sam Huang.  He worked at Celanese Research Company, Ethicon, Inc., and Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1997 as Director of the Center for Polymer Synthesis and Professor of Chemistry.  He has held his current positions since 2008 as a member of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at USC. His research interests are focused on the development of high temperature polybenzimidazole membranes for fuel cells and electrochemical devices, and reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, particularly for the preparation of multifunctional nanoparticles for multiple applications. His work on PBI membranes has been commercialized and is being used in fuel cell devices manufactured by multiple companies for portable and stationary applications. Benicewicz is a Fellow of the AAAS, the POLY Division of the ACS, and was awarded (jointly with G. Calundann) the 2016 ACS PMSE Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering for his work on PBI membranes.


Jay Dias – ExxonMobil Chemical Company

“For outstanding scientific contributions in polyolefins and elastomers which have led to commercialized products for ExxonMobil Chemical”


Anthony “Jay” Dias received B.S. degree in Chemistry from Kean College, and a Ph. D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Since then Jay has worked for the ExxonMobil Chemical Company holding a number of positions in both research and management.  Jay currently holds the position of Senior Chief Scientist. His research has focused on elastomers, networks, simulation, nanocomposites, polymer surfaces and interfaces, the control of polymer topology, and the application of this research to develop new polymer products. His research has resulted in over 20 publications and over 50 US patents.  Jay was the 1998 recipient of the ACS Rubber Division Sparks-Thomas Award and became ACS Fellow in 2015.




Christopher Stafford – NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology

“For the development of techniques for measuring the mechanical and transport properties of thin polymer films and membranes”

Christopher Stafford is a staff member and project leader in the Materials Science and Engineering Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  He currently leads a research team that is developing and applying advanced measurement methods to quantify structure/property/transport in polymer-based membranes to address the grand challenge of the energy-water nexus. These polymer-based membranes play a significant role in fields such as water purification, fuel cells and batteries, where they control the selective transport of ions and/or water. A deeper understanding of the exact nature of ion and water transport in these membranes will enable scientists and engineers to design more selective and energy-efficient membranes.  Dr. Stafford received his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with Professors McCarthy and Russell, and his B.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi with Professor McCormick.  He joined NIST as an NRC-NIST Postdoctoral Fellow before joining the permanent staff.



Shu Yang – University of Pennsylvania

“For dedicated service to the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering and pioneering the synthesis and fabrication of responsive nano- and micro structured soft materials”

Shu Yang is a Professor in the Departments of Materials Science & Engineering, and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at University of Pennsylvania. Her group focuses on novel synthesis, fabrication, and assembly of polymers, liquid crystals, and colloids with precisely controlled size, shape, and geometry, and their dynamic tuning for highly flexible, super-conformable, foldable, and responsive materials/ devices. Her lab explores the potential applications of the smart and bioinspired materials, including self-cleaning coatings, dry adhesives, color sensing, displays, smart windows, and wearable biomedical devices. Yang received her B.S. degree from Fudan University, China in 1992, and Ph. D. degree from Chemistry and Chemical Biology while researching in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University in 1999. She worked at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies as a Member of Technical Staff before joining Penn in 2004. She received George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research from Penn Engineering (2015-2016). She is Fellow of Royal Chemical Society (2017), Fellow of National Academy of Inventors (2014), and TR35 as one of the world’s top 100 young innovators under age of 35 by MIT’s Technology Review (2004). She was also a recipient of ICI (1999) and Unilever (2001) student awards from ACS for outstanding research in polymer science and engineering.